Tag Archives: deep sea fishing

A fishy tale

Fishing is something you either love or you hate – and for those who love it, they will travel to the ends of the earth just for that magical feel of catching “the big one”. And what a feel that is!

We are lucky in Canada that we have world class fishing venues on our doorstep – literally on the Bow River in fact. But for those who like the salt water variety there is nothing finer than a bit of salmon fishing. Many years ago I took a trip to April Point Lodge on Quadra Island for a girls’ fishing trip. Having been trout fishing in South Africa and hooking Tiger Fish at Kariba Dam in Zimbabwe I was certainly game for a little salmon fishing. An excursion was arranged – 2 to a boat with our guide (properly known as a ghillie).

My first surprise was that our ghillie baited up all the rods and then clamped them into down-riggers on the side of the boat. Hmm… I thought. What am I supposed to do. I was all decked out and ready to go with bright yellow rubber dungarees – just in case I fell over the side I suppose – so that I would be easily noticed bobbing in the Vancouver Island passage as skyscraper cruise liners pass by on their way to Alaska. OK well, first thing they teach you about fishing is patience. It was quite a nice boat – fairly big and even had a little crouchy kind of toilet up the front and we had coffee and biscuits to keep us going. And so we waited. The sun came up and it turned into a nice day. Eventually our ghillie said he was taking a stroll to the back of the boat and would we ladies mind keeping our eyes to the front. Well he wasn’t watering the daisies!

I sat and continued to stare at the rods clamped onto the side of the boat. There were 3 – one for the ghillie and one for me and one for my companion. They were all bobbing along merrily as we ploughed through the straits. Then BAM … my rod dipped down so quickly – the ghillie jumped in, unclamped and I almost knocked him over in my eagerness to get MY rod, MY fish…. and the battle was on. Man I was happy when I landed him. Just over 16 lbs.

That’s big but not big enough to become a member of the Tyee Club of BC in Campbell River. It has been in operation for nearly 100 years and is definitely old school. To join you have to land a 30 pounder at least and on this fishing trip I was much happier. No one clamped my rod onto the side of the boat, no downrigger – just a small weight – and I was in complete charge of my rod. The only problem was I didn’t catch a bloody thing ūüė¶

But you know what they say in fishing – it is not always about how big they are but how strong they fight – and you cannot get a better fighter than the Tiger Fish of Kariba Dam. This little video from the youtube channel River Monsters says it all

Isn’t my husband a lucky man to have a wife who loves to go fishing??

Two Gravol and a glass of wine, please…

A new way to enjoy a snack and a glass of wine while watching great white sharks.

Yeah…no – as they say in the classics. ¬†What a bizarre idea! ¬†You have probably heard of cage diving before – you don a scuba outfit and all the gear and get into a cage so you can observe the great white sharks – very popular in Cape Town. ¬†Kind of gives me the creeps but I have lots of clients who have taken part in this adventure in South Africa and have loved it. ¬†And I get that. ¬†At least you are in the open sea but the idea of being in a small glass cage under the water – with those waves swirling around. ¬†Mmm – not so much. ¬†Here’s the cage version of meeting the sharks.image

Probably the worst sea journey I ever did was the notorious Irish Channel on the ferry between Liverpool and Belfast.  My dad (Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy at the time) knew in advance that the best thing for this overnight crossing was to book a cabin.  He made sure we had a good meal, a couple of sea sickness tablets and then early bed (or bunks).  We survived the crossing and woke in the morning refreshed only to be totally shocked at the mess the crew had to sluice down in the general seating area where people had bought the cheap seats.

Generally these days the cruise ships are so large (floating malls) that most people suffer no discomfort at all. ¬†One thing to be avoided, however, is deep sea fishing. ¬†Don’t do this unless you are sure you have the stomach for it. ¬†Reminds me of a tale told by my sister and her husband in Cape Town, South Africa. ¬†They were heading out with friends to go deep sea fishing and were all prepared. ¬†They had ordered KFC (breasts only), a couple of crates of beer and headed out early ¬†in the morning. ¬†They returned late in the afternoon, pale and wan looking. ¬†Yes the crew enjoyed the KFC and the cases of beer and no-one cared about catching any kind of fish.

The problem is – once you are out there on fishing expedition – you are there for the day. ¬†I recall a deep sea fishing captain on South Africa’s Wild Coast once telling me that he could be a rich man ten times over as he had been offered farms if he would just turn the boat around early and head back to shore. ¬†I wonder why he said no.